Art in the Streets – Banksy


Over the spring and summer, L.A. hosted an art show at the Museum Of Contemporary Art, MOCA for short. The controversy show was called Art in the Streets. It comprised of 50 prolific graffiti and street artists from around the globe, each had their own exhibit. Keith Herring, Mr. Cartoon, Risk, and Retna were among a few artists that were in the show.

Banksy was one of my favorites at this show. I enjoy his work for his messages, his humor, and his attention to detail. Banksy is probably one of the most famous street artists that had gone mainstream, but unlike Shepard Fairey, Banksy remains anonymous (supposedly). Patrons have been nabbing up Banksy art from auctions for as much as 1.870 million dollars. Many high profile figures have purchased his work, including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. His artwork all depict a message, often times political, which are meticulous executed on his canvas of choice. Banksy has a great history of stenciling rats, elephants, and monkeys, some symbolically pertaining to a position of the government and often painting them in hypocritical situations. But, it’s not solely the artwork itself but what the artwork is painted on.

He has criticized patrons for hyping street art, thus increasing the value of anything street at auctions. Which explains this next piece exactly. Notice the “STOP” sign tagged up and a frame around a tag with a well-suited individual staring at it in an intrigued fashion? Well executed, it sends a powerful message to stop viewing every bit of street work as art. I especially love the framed tag. It’s such a wonderful display of white space and balance. The body posture of the suited man was so intricate as well.

To the left of the Stop piece there was this large piece replicating a home video. Some of you may remember the beating of Rodney King, as 2011 marked the 20th anniversary of the beating. The not guilty verdict of the officers involved resulted in an all city riot through L.A. to protest and exhaust frustration of the justice system. This event would forever change the way people think about law enforcement.  Anyways, this piece is an excerpt of that same videotape, except there was no Rodney; instead a party piñata was replaced. Another powerful message showing a helpless being getting the guts beat out of it, much like what happened to Rodney.

Much like music lyrics, there can be many interpretation of art, and those are my interpretations.

Others on display were some of his stencils, a few art installations, and brush paintings, all laid out in observable fashion.

This piece was awesome as well, it’s feeding time and the mother was feeding her chicks, but instead of chicks they were cameras. Probably displaying the fact that big brother is watching you in a growing rate. This animated install had the cameras moving about making bird noise.

Banksy has one of the most powerful messages in his pieces, which makes him such a popular artist. And, the ones I have shown were my favorite. What do you guys think about Banksy?


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